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Clinton, Trump lead in Illinois: SIU's Paul Simon Institute poll

WASHINGTON — Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton lead in Illinois, according to a poll by the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

While Democrat Clinton has 51 percent to Bernie Sanders’ 32 percent, on the GOP side, Trump only holds a plurality, at 28 percent, with basically a three-way tie between Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and John Kasich.

Trump and Kasich are tied in Chicago.

David Yepsen, director of the Institute, said “while this is good news for Trump, the poll also illustrates a problem for him: There are 72 percent of Illinois Republicans who are for someone else or are undecided. If the non-Trump vote rallies around a single candidate, Trump could be upended.”

Sanders does best with voters under 35, with 64 percent, to 27 percent for Clinton. Clinton does best with voters over 66, with 54 percent, to 21 percent to Sanders. The Illinois finding mirrors national trends. Clinton is ahead of Sanders with female and non-white voters.

Here is a snapshot as Illinois heads towards the March 15 primary and with early voting already started. The survey was taken before Jeb Bush dropped out last Sunday and before the GOP South Carolina primary and the Democratic Nevada caucus last Saturday.

DEMOCRATS

51% Hillary Clinton

32% Bernie Sanders

16% Undecided

BY AREA

CLINTON

55% Chicago

53% Chicago Suburbs

44% Downstate

SANDERS

32% Chicago

31% Chicago Suburbs

36% Downstate

REPUBLICANS

28% Donald Trump

15% Ted Cruz

14% Marco Rubio

13% John Kasich

8% Jeb Bush

6% Ben Carson

15% Undecided

BY AREA

TRUMP

28% Chicago

28% Chicago Suburbs

27% Downstate

CRUZ

17% Chicago

12% Chicago suburbs

17% Downstate

RUBIO

11% Chicago

18% Chicago Suburbs

10% Downstate

KASICH

28% Chicago

13% Chicago suburbs

10% Downstate

HOW THE POLL WAS CONDUCTED: “The sample of 306 Republicans was part of a statewide poll of 1,000 registered voters conducted Feb.15 to 20. The GOP voter sample has a margin of error of 5.6 percent.

“The sample of 422 Democratic primary voters was also from the Feb. 15-20 statewide poll. The Democratic results have a margin of error of 4.7 percent.”